2022 New Year, New Trends
A new year is upon us, but the news is old: We’re still not back to “normal” since the onset of the pandemic, and people are continuing to think about their homes in a whole new way. That is, they’re spending a lot more time there, and wanting their homes to perform a lot of functions. 

“If they’re not buying new, they’re upgrading,” says Janet Owen, a sales associate with Berkshire Hathaway Chicago. “They want a wonderful environment to be in, for remote learning, working from home, working out from home, entertaining. They need space for everyone to do what they need to do.” 

Credits for Urban Classic Home
Architecture, Design & Construction by BGD&C Custom Homes
Chicago Custom Home Builder: BGD&C Custom Homes
Interior Design: Studio Gild
Photography: Mike Schwartz

Here are some of the trends Owen sees for 2022: 

Adding on 
People are looking for more space. Owen says she’s seeing a lot of local homeowners looking to buy the lot next door so as to extend their indoor and outdoor space. They’re also adding floors to the tops of homes, as well as adding decks and side gardens. 

Exercise rooms 
A dedicated spot in the basement or spare room for a Peloton, weights, yoga, pilates or treadmill. 

Flex rooms
These rooms, also called bonus rooms, are spare bedrooms that can be used for many different purposes: An office, a craft room, an exercise room or even a media room.
Media rooms can serve multiple functions- Netflix nights, gaming, board games, crafts and more...

Bigger bathrooms 
Bathrooms are incorporating whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms—all the things a homeowner might have enjoyed traveling to a top hotel or at a health club. 

Bigger kitchens 
It’s not a new story, but with people going out to eat less often, they’re looking for super functional kitchens they can really cook in, perhaps the entire family together. No more a “trophy” kitchen that rarely gets used. And the kitchen needs to be a comfortable space where friends and family can hang out. “People are looking for big, beautiful kitchens with both casual and entertaining spaces,” Owen says.

Outdoor spaces which incorporate fireplaces or fire pits remain very popular as they extend the season and allow for COVID friendly gathering.
Luxurious outdoor spaces 
The trend toward indoor/outdoor living continues to be strong, with fully-decked-out outdoor kitchens, lush landscaping, pools, game courts such as bocce or basketball, and comfortable outdoor living areas. “Even smaller homes on smaller lots are putting a priority on lovely outdoor spaces,” Owen says. 

Healthy homes 
“Everyone is trending toward a healthier lifestyle, so whenever you can incorporate that into your home, that’s a plus,” Owen says. “Everyone is recycling and paying attention to being and staying healthy. That’s been going on for quite a while,” she says, and shows no sign of abating. That will mean recycling stations in kitchens or mudrooms, as well as the use of low-VOC paints and sophisticated air-filtration systems. 

Black accents can be incredibly chic.
And more trends we anticipate: 
Black accents
For doors, window frames, appliances, and more, in either a matte or shiny finish.

Patterned hardwood floors and patterned hardwood on ceilings treatments, as well as reclaimed, antique wood floors.

Curves, curves and more curves!

More curves
Think barrel-vault ceilings, arched openings, and curvier furniture.

Metal roofs
They can be used for the entire home, or as an awning roof over windows or a porch roof. But Taryn Lund,  senior project manager at BGD&C says, “for the level of home we build we don’t feel it’s the right material. We typically do slate roofs, but have also used terracotta tiles.”

Wall to Wall: WOOD 
Credits for Lincoln Park Mediterranean Home
Architecture, Design & Construction by BGD&C Custom Homes
Chicago Custom Home Builder: BGD&C Custom Homes
Photography: Tony Soluri 
Nothing adds richness, texture, warmth and interest to a wall like wood. Whether it’s a study, a den, a dining room or even a bathroom, wood paneling and millwork bring the wow. 

With more people working from home these days, home offices and libraries are taking center stage, and wood makes these spaces cozy and sophisticated.
Yes, wood paneling is back. But we’re not talking about that orangey glossy knotty pine in your parents or grandparents’ basement.  “I think some people might have PTSD from that sort of 70s and 80s paneling,” says Taryn Lund, senior project manager at BGD&C. “But when it’s done right, it can be really stunning. I think people are moving toward more natural materials, and people like the warmth of wood.” 

The tones on paneling these days are much warmer and browner, and wood “brings a lot of texture to a room,” says Taryn Lund. “It almost serves like wallpaper to bring interest to a wall.

In terms of types of wood, people are sourcing reclaimed and found woods, but walnut and oak remain king. Walnut is particularly popular because it complements both bright whites and moody colors that are so popular now, such as black and charcoal gray. “Walnut brings those colors to life a bit,” Lund says. Both walnut and oak are “tried and true materials that look good and wear well.” 

Architecture, Design & Construction by BGD&C Custom Homes
Interior Design: Kadlec Architecture + Design
Photography: Nathan Kirkman

Built-ins are just as popular as they’ve always been, to provide storage and display for books, decorative objects and more. Any built-in is going to look high end because it’s intentional, and by its nature, custom. That’s a very different look from a piece of furniture against a wall. 

Credits for Lincoln Park Transitional Home
Architecture, Design & Construction by BGD&C Custom Homes
Chicago Custom Home Builder: BGD&C Custom Homes
Interior Design: Kadlec Architecture + Design
Photography: Nathan Kirkman

Many clients like having built-ins hidden behind paneled doors, with the millwork integrated. “Or it’s painted to match the trim so it’s all cohesive and part of the room,” Lund says. 

Though built-in open bars aren’t as popular as they once were with BGD&C clients, it’s another option to personalize a study, den or man cave. BGD&C clients work with a designer from the conception phrase a custom-home project, plotting out what they want to display on shelves, be it books, art objects or a combination, and then the unit is planned to accommodate. Nothing is left to chance.  

Molding is still popular, but in a more transitional aesthetic that is classic but pared down. “Trim on the whole is definitely getting simpler,” Lund says. 

Credits for Lincoln Park English Home
Architecture, Design & Construction by BGD&C Custom Homes
Chicago Custom Home Builder: BGD&C Custom Homes
Interior Design: Suzanne Lovell
Photography: Tony Soluri

And though people tend to think of wood walls and millwork for traditional libraries and studies, “it’s pretty versatile,” Lund says. “Wood can be done in a very modern fashion. It depends how you detail and finish it.”  A high-gloss finish on wood with a lot of grain and very minimal detailing, will look modern. Clean, straight lines and the integration of, say, some metal details, could also create a very modern look. 

And wood needn’t be confined to studies, libraries, dens and formal dining rooms. “You can consider doing it in any room,” Lund says. In a bathroom, for instance, a wood wall could bring “a real warmth and contrast to tile and stone.” 

Or consider a wood accent wall in a bedroom behind the bed instead of a headboard. “Wood is really versatile,” Lund says. And durable: “It’s why you see it in homes that are 100, 200 years old.” 

Long-lasting, versatile, warm and rich– wall to wall wood is here to stay.
Connect With Us
winner of
From National Association of Home Builders

2019 Gold Award for One-of-a-Kind Custom Home over 8,000 sq. ft.

From The National Association of Home Builders

2017 Platinum Award for One-of-a-Kind Custom Home over 8,000 sq. ft.

2017 Best in Region for One-of-a-Kind Custom Home over 8,000 sq. ft.
winner of
From The Home Owner's Association of Greater Chicago

2019 Platinum Key Award for or the category Single Family Custom Home Urban 7,500 sq. ft.

From The Home Builder's Association of Greater Chicago

2017 Diamond Key Award for the category Custom Home Urban 11,000 -13,000 sq. ft.

2017 Platinum Key Award for the category Custom Home Urban 11,000 -13,000 sq. ft

By Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago
BGD&C is an affiliate of The Bowen Group LLC, a 
licensed Illinois Real Estate broker representing various properties owned by BGD&C and its affiliates. The principals of BGD&C, The Bowen Group
LLC, and their affiliates are licensed IL brokers.
As one of our partners, we'd like to make sure you stay in the loop. To ensure our emails continue to reach your inbox, please add our email address to your address book. Click here for step-by-step instructions.